A Handful of Horrifying Images From Last Night's Californication Premiere
If you've ever spent a night with Californication's Hank Moody (played with steadfast conviction by David Duchovny), you know to expect perverse sex, heavy vice dependency, photoshopped cigarettes and compromised morals. After already exploring the rife terrains of sex with an underage girl that lead to manuscript heist, porn sex with Evan Handler and dalliances with anonymous, thieving Venice Beach rollerbladers, Californication's writers upped the ante in last night's season three premiere by gifting viewers with five of the most retina-scarring scenes in premium cable history. The NSFW honorees after the jump:
So just how does Hank Moody unknowingly persuade a dinner guest into tucking his privates at an academic soiree? Charm, which he uses to goad respected writer and dinner guest Richard Bates (Jason Beghe) into dropping a decade of sobriety in the name of a whiskey toast to "the blank page." Within seconds, the writer socially combusts and interjects delightful non sequiturs like "Little girls with pretty boxes" and "Have you ever spent time with an eleven year old boy and wanted more than he was willing to give?" as guests attempt to enjoy their sweet potatoes and polite conversation. After a quick trip to the Boom Boom Room, Bates reappears to flash the dining room with with his he-p*ssy (to the delight of Hank) before diving out of the second story dining room.
2. Peter Gallagher in Full Body Spandex
Another great character introduction: Peter Gallagher begins his own guest arc as the dean to Hank Moody's daughter by costuming himself in head-to-toe spandex, crouched over a bicycle that happens to be obstructing the path of Hank's leisurely Porsche. After exchanging a few mid-drive words and a carefully selected finger, Hank deals with the offender in a fashion that will have you shouting "That's So Moody!" anytime you see someone flick a lit cigarette at a biker while simultaneously driving him off the road.
3. Kathleen Turner Talks Dirty to Charlie Runkle
Still coasting off the fumes of her Body Heat success, Kathleen Turner kicked off her stint on the guest-star-laden premiere as ball-busting sexual harasser Sue Collini, who promises to rescue Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) from his studio in the valley if he agrees to a few deals between the sheets. Sounding like a a 74 Corvette 454, Turner chokes into Runkle's ear traumatic nothings about baby monkeys, rusty trombones and her favorite sexual positions. As Runkle's eyes flash with horror and despair, Turner makes a final pass at him, uttering "Sue Collini always gets the weenie." (Cautionary Significance: Lindsay Lohan could end up with this kind of raspy, nausea-inducing guest spot in twenty years).
4. Hank Moody Charms a Mother Whose Child Got Stoned On His Pot Stash...In Front of Eerily Realistic Child Statues
Accidents happen! Hank's daughter Becca and her friend deconstructed Hank's typewriter, found his marijuana trove and got high. So what? Something that shouldn't be glossed over as quickly is the careful staging of Hank's confrontation with the friend's mother in front of some distractingly life-like kid statues. We're not sure if this is supposed to be symbolic; perhaps the kids laughing and playing with their ceramic dog represent the childhood Becca will never have because of Hank's seriously jacked moral compass, or maybe they're a stand-in for Hank's stunted adulthood. Suggestions welcome.
5. Runkle Worms His Way Back Into His Estranged Wife's House Through IBS-Related Complications
Cable comedies need a shrieking wife to henpeck the best friend of the lead, and while Curb Your Enthusiasm has Susie Essman, Californication has Pamela Adlon. Adlon and Handler's onscreen chemistry is one of the reasons to watch Californication (and never endure five minutes of Charlotte and Harry's forced Sex and the City scenes again) but that is a story for a different day.
After breaking up over one spouse's coke addiction and the other's unlikely affair with a porn star, Runkle gets so grossed out by Kathleen Turner's come-ons that he gets trashed, returns to his old house and demands entry, citing his tricky Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Once inside, Runkle locks himself in the bathroom to toil over gastro-intestinal issues, sniff his estranged wife's bras and become victim to an aerosol can directed the wrong way. Never has post-separation re-entry been less sweet.